31.3.23 Tunnel Ultra
Combe Down tunnel under Bath is one mile long. This mind-altering drug of a run offers 100 there and backs. 200 miles in the dark in 55 hours is the task. No support, no headphones and some scratchy violin music piped in through the daylight hours. 40 runners will start and around 5 will finish. Its the first part of an attempted three event Cockslam. All 40 of us are suitablty qualified to take this on…
If I am lucky enough to finish this one, then I’ll be one third of the way into a Cockslam of three 200 mile plus Cockbain events in 1 year.
23.4.23 London Marathon
I was honoured to be given my Chippenham Harriers’ club place for this. I have 3 weeks to transfer from Tunnel shuffling to marathon running. I clocked similar mileage 3 weeks before my Berlin Marathon PB, so I really am hoping to do justice to the blue and white vest. London will be the firsty marathon I am repeating, although my first was in 1996 long before I took up running in 2017, so different course, different lifetime and about half the number of competitors back then.
6.5.23 Thames Path 100
Whilst I’m doing ‘the flat season’ I thought a tilt at a Centurion hundred was a good call. This is one of the flattest 100 mile trail races you can do, and it requires a bit of strategy to get it right.
14.5.23 Leeds Marathon
AKA the Rob Burrows marathon. A warm down marathon, think of this as an exercise in smiling and waving. I will definitely be going along for a day of soaking up the atmosphere in the first edition of what promises to be a spectacular and emotive event. I am a member of the MND runners group, so it was impossible to miss this massive cause and awareness charity and will be enjoying the event. Amongst others on the start line should be the amazing Dougal Campbell, club colleague, in his full Elmo gear.
AKA the Vale of Glamorgan Ultra Marathon. Very much a tourism run, taking in the Gower peninsula in South Wales from Penarth to Porthcawl. I’ll test out my hill stamina on the first half, then have a picnic at miday and freestyle the second half, mixing chatting, walking and running. It is a Pegasus event which means no cut offs, and plenty of company taking the day slowly and enjoying the scenery. As a bonus you also get a free ‘how ya doin’ call a couple of days before from the sweetest of race supremos, Rhys Jenkins.
18.6.23 The Line
OK, this is a bit of a biggie. If I survive and complete The Tunnel, then this is part 2 of the Cockslam attempt. The Line means the Greenwhich Meridian Line Trail running due north-south, crossing through Greenwich. The route is 300 miles, from Sand Le Mere near Hull to Peacehaven near Hastings. The 6 day time limit means 50 miles every 24 hours must be done. This is a fastpacking adventure race, with no support allowed and no indoor sleep. and NO STICKS!
9.7.23 Xterra Snowdonia Trail Ultra Marathon
My hilly season should have started in the last 100 miles of The Line as I trasition to the South Downs after 200 miles of flat East of England, Fenlands and London. This event massively upps the ante with 35 miles of mountains culminating with an ascent of Snowdon.
23.7.23 Hoka X-Trail Courchevel
This is a bit of a unique event. You pay for a 66k mountain run, but you get there in 11k stages with cuts at the end of each stage. If you miss a cut off they declare that to have been your finish point so you therefore ‘complete’ at any of 11,22,33,44,55 or 66km. There are refunds if you bow out early. It looks a fabulous route as shown on this very evocative video.
6.8.23 Farndale Marathon
A progress checker ahead of the World Series Finals week in Chamonix and a chance to enjoy the North Yorkshire Moors and sample Hardmoor’s formidable reputation as event hosts. This is a long hilly marathon in epic countryside.
The TDS or Traces des Ducs de Savoie, and the most adventurous ultra route in UTMB week, a 90 mile alpine traverse from Courmeyeur to Chamonix the hard way.
I just loved being a part of this event week last year. I am travelling with Wiltshire heroes Karen Hacker and John Keat. Karen is doing the TDS and should be well rested by the time I stagger to the finish. John gets his shot at UTMB at last, and I am very excited to see how he does.
9.9.23 White Horse 50
Even with my revovery reputation this event, which I put on the calendar just before I got into the TDS, is a high likelihood DNS. Its just a week following. We will see. It is a race I would love to do, linking several of Witshires’ White Horse hill art.
12-15.10.23 Lon Las Cymru
The third and final part of the improbable attempt at a Cockslam, this race follows the Sustrans Cycle Route from Holyhead of Cardiff, north to south coasts of Wales, 250 miles with a very challenging 88 hour time limit. Water and shelter is offered to runners every 25 miles.
A classic of ultrarunning, the huge and hugely popular overnight 78K run between Saint Etienne and Lyon with a 4000 strong start list.
1.7.24 – Frank’s Big TOE